Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said that he has a “pretty good” idea who was behind the leak of the court’s decision on overturning Roe v. Wade — and that the leak made the justices targets for possible assassination.
Alito, who authored the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that ruled there is no constitutional right to abortion, made the comments in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
“I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody,” Alito said: “It was a part of an effort to prevent the Dobbs draft … from becoming the decision of the court. And that’s how it was used for those six weeks by people on the outside — as part of the campaign to try to intimidate the court.”
Alito said that the Supreme Court “did a good job with the resources that were available,” but said that the evidence was not strong enough for an official designation of guilt.
The conservative justice added that the leak not only brought an environment of “suspicion and distrust,” but also danger.
“Those of us who were thought to be in the majority, thought to have approved my draft opinion, were really targets of assassination,” Alito said. “It was rational for people to believe that they might be able to stop the decision in Dobbs by killing one of us.”
He also called it infuriating that some people believed a conservative justice may have leaked the decision. “Look, this made us targets of assassination. Would I do that to myself? Would the five of us have done that to ourselves? It’s quite implausible.”
The court was ultimately undeterred by the pressure and voted to overturn Roe.